Pentagon chief meets with allies about NKorea

TOKYO — Top Pentagon officials say the United States fears the risk of war is rising between South Korea and the heavily militarized and increasingly unpredictable regime in North Korea. And the Pentagon considers North Korea a threat to the mainland United States.
US Defense Secretary Robert Gates is meeting top political leaders in Japan on Thursday about the growing worry that North Korea might push its saber-rattling too far. Gates sees leaders in South Korea on Friday.
Meanwhile, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mike Mullen says that North Korea poses an evolving threat beyond the region to the United States specifically. Mullen told the Foreign Press Center in Washington that he urges coordinated pressure among China, Russia, South Korea and Japan. Those nations have disarmament leverage and the most at stake